The latest salvo in the internet’s puerile lunchroom drama over video games difficulty and cheating has been fired by XCOM’s official Twitter account. Given the obnoxiously grave tone of the “You cheated not only the game,” copypasta and meme, it simply begs to be read out in the foreboding voice of the shadowy Council Spokesman. Yesterday, Firaxis Games obliged.
Take a listen:
If you’re not clear what this is all about, here’s a recap: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a hard game. Evidently, being bad at it, or just unwilling to play something that tough, discredits you as a true or knowledgeable video games enthusiast, player, writer or whatever.
Last week, someone published a mod that allows users to slow Sekiro down, and allow them to get past the game’s unrelentingly tough bosses. A writer for PC Gamer used it to beat the game’s final boss and gloated about it.
PC Gamer’s earlier posts about Sekiro, in which one writer said they’d never beat the game and didn’t care, and another asked if it was too hard, had already sent video gaming’s git-gud clubhouse into Rumpelstiltskinian fits of anger on social media. So the April 5 post about cheating summoned one hell of a teeth-sucking lecture from a Twitter user, and it went on to become a full fledged meme. (The Verge has another great roundup of tweets belittling the “you gained nothing” scolding.)
Sonic the Hedgehog even got in on the parody, but now Council Man has dropped the mic. Save-scum cheating is woven into the XCOM experience, if not relied upon by its many fans. It’s why XCOM and XCOM 2 have Ironman modes (and hard-won achievements for it) for those who like to spend their time playing their video games instead of complaining about someone else’s.